There are still many disagreements left to be settled in the smartphone patent wars, but at least one dispute ended amicably over the weekend. Apple has come to terms with HTC, one of Google's primary hardware allies, in a confidential agreement which will see the end of all outstanding patent litigation between the two sides.
"HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a 10-year license agreement," Apple officials announced in a Saturday evening release. "The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties."
This move is being viewed by some as a significant concession for Apple, and the potential start of a new era of cooperation in the field of high-tech intellectual property management. This may be the company's most important strategic decision since the passing of co-founder Steve Jobs, according to Time Magazine, considering the late computer magnate famously promised a "thermonuclear war" against the Android operating system.
Yankee Group IT analyst Carl Howe concurred in an interview with eWeek, noting that no new litigation has been launched under the tenure of current Apple CEO Tim Cook. Few if any industry observers expect a timely resolution to the disparate disputes with Samsung, however, as they are thought to involve technologies much closer to the core of Apple's offerings.